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Philodendron Imperial Golden Care

He's a big 'un. The Philodendron Imperial Golden has surprisingly large leaves that start out an almost glowing golden-lime-green, changing to bright emerald green as they age. Such a stunning chap. To get an idea of the size of those leaves, this guy below is in a standard 14cm pot (those two biggest leaves are over 20cm long each!). For all that size, he's actually an easy care, low maintenance guy. We give him an LTLC rating of 1.5 out of 5. One of the easiest in the Philodendron family.

Temperature & Light

Like his equally bright cousin the Philodendron Neon, the Philodendron Imperial Golden prefers medium, indirect light level rather than anything too bright. Despite his tropical vibes, moderate temperatures are all good, about 18 to 25 degrees is his happy zone, but cooler is tolerated in winter indoors. 

 

Water 

Another humidity lover. Although it's usually naturally humid enough in summer in most places in NZ, he'll appreciate a humidifier in winter or in drier parts of NZ year-round, especially if you run a heat pump or have a DVS or HRV system. Not a must but he'll love you for it. Regular misting with an adjustable mister will be enjoyed also. The Philodendron Imperial Gold likes it lightly, evenly moist. Best to let him dry out before watering again. If you're not sure, skip watering for a couple more days. Better to be too dry than too wet or you could cause root rot. Don't let this chap sit in water. Not a wet feet fan. Plant in a pot with drainage only. When watering, give him a good drench then allow him to drain till he stops dripping before returning to his cover pot or saucer. 

 

Soil 

This chap's pretty tolerant of most soil types, but free-draining is better than anything too rich or dense. We'd go for a 3/4 potting soil 1/4 perlite mix (or something else similarly well draining). If you're an over-waterer, up that perlite. If you go the other way then something denser is all good. You could mix in some orchid or succulent mix instead in place of perlite.

Those big leaves need a fair amount of oomph so we mix in some Groconut when we water. A half dose weekly - or normal dose fortnightly - should be plenty to replenish what he takes out of the soil to support those whopper leaves when he's growing in spring and summer. You can skip the fertiliser in winter (unless he's in denial and still putting out growth). 

 

Philodendron Imperial Golden Pro Tips & Problem Solving

Pale, yellowing leaves

Too much, too bright light and you'll find those leaves start to get washed out and yellow. If it's only the older lower leaves going yellow that could just be an old leaf on its way out, but if a whole area of the plant is becoming pale and yellow that suggests overkill on the light and time for a new spot. 

 

Small leaves

This guy should be giving you surprisingly large leaves. Smaller leaves suggests a humidity or food issue. Up that humidity and try something yummy like Groconut in every second water for a nutrient boost. Also pop him out of his pot to check he's not root bound (being a bit root bound is okay for these guys though so don't rush to repot - fix other possible issues first). 

 

Drooping leaves

Usually a sign this guy is really thirsty. Check that soil and give him a good drink. He'll recover fast if thirst was the cause.

 

Pet safe

That would be a no sorry, same as the rest of the Philodendron family. A chomp will irritate the lips, mouth or throat and could cause swelling, which could be fatal (but usually won't be). Best kept out of reach of pets and kids.

 

LTLC Rating (Love That Leaf Care Rating)

We give this handsome chap a 1.5 out of 5 LTLC Rating for being so easy care. Not wet and forget though, so do remember to water him regularly, but he's also more forgiving than many when you go a bit long between drinks. Plus he doesn't the bright light requirements of many in the Philodendron family, so a great choice for medium light levels.

In our totally-made-up LTLC Rating scale based purely on our own experience in good old NZ, we give a Boston Fern or String of Pearls a 5 (such a love hate relationship with SOP, argh), a ZZ Plant and a Peace Lily would get a 1.

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